Last year 21.1 percent of Greeks – or more than one in five – were unable to cover their basic needs, such as the timely payment of utility bills and regular consumption of meat, according to Eurostat.
That 21.1 percent in 2017 may constitute a minor improvement from the 22.4 percent rate in 2016, but is still a particularly high level. This rate was also the second highest in the European Union and translates to a large share of the population, or 2.24 million people.
The people or households in that category are by definition those unable to meet the costs of at least four of the following: payment of utility bills in time, sufficient heating at home, tackling extraordinary expenses, consumption of meat (or fish or the equivalent in vegetables) on a regular basis, a one-week vacation away from home, and capacity to purchase a TV set, a washing machine, a car or a telephone.
The age group with the highest rate of material deprivation in Greece includes those between 20 and 24 years, amounting to 32.6 percent – or one in three – though this is according to 2016 data.
Notably, the year with the highest material deprivation rate in Greece from 2003 to 2017 (for which Eurostat has data), was 2009.